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Letter from Dora McDonald to William Grayson

Thursday, February 15, 1962
West Virginia (WV), PUERTO RICO, Mississippi (MS)

Dora McDonald informs William Grayson that Dr. King's schedule does not permit him to make any more appearances in the year of 1962. Miss McDonald expresses her deep apologies for Dr. King's inabilities to attend.

Guidelines for a Constructive Church

Sunday, June 5, 1966
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Alabama (AL)

In this sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Dr. King spells out guidelines for the church: healing the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captive (freeing people from everything that enslaves), and preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year of the Lord, he says, is every year the time is right to do right, stop lying and cheating, do justice, learn to live as brothers and beat swords into plowshares.

Appreciation Letter from Maurice Dawkins to MLK

Tuesday, November 14, 1967
Washington, D.C.

In this letter, Maurice Dawkins expresses his appreciation for Dr. King's statement that encouraged the Congress to support the war on poverty. He also expresses appreciation for Dr. King making the urgency of this matter clear to the world.

Lifts to Living

Washington, D.C.

Nanny H. Burroughs sends a short book entitled "Here and Beyond - The Sunset" with her signature and tag line to wish Dr. King a glorious New Year. The book contains a list of inspirational songs, parables, and poems regarding the process of life and spiritual encouragement.

Telegram from Donna Jean Stancliff to MLK

Thursday, December 28, 1967
Washington, D.C., Norfolk, VA, Atlanta, GA

Donna Jean Stancliff informs Dr. King of Mrs. Zelma G. Proctor's funeral.

Letter from David Davis to MLK

Tuesday, October 5, 1965
FRANCE, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, UNITED KINGDOM, London, England, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Mr. Davis, Executive Director of American Center for Student and Artists, invites Dr. King to speak for one of their "Meet the Press" evenings in Europe. Davis also provides the names of previous speakers and information regarding the Center's participants and programs.

Greeks

GREECE

Dr. King shares his personal insight on Greek and African "ability," relative to African-Americans.

Where Do We Go From Here (Chapter V Draft)

Alabama (AL), Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Georgia (GA), New York (NY), Selma, AL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

This draft of Where Are We Going?, Chapter 5 of Dr. King's book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? was significantly edited before publication but the central ideas are here. The government's failure to develop economic justice programs cannot be blamed on the Civil Rights Movement's lack of ideas, as often claimed. Building the political will for change is more important for the movement. The rights of Negroes to economic well-being are well aligned with goals and tactics of the labor movement. Negro leadership needs to be developed from within the community.

Letter from Virginia M. Burke & Phyllis M. Banks to MLK

Friday, August 9, 1963
Milwaukee, WI, Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C.

Virginia Burke and Phyllis Banks express their interest in distributing "The Negro Is Your Brother", better known as "Letter from Birmingham Jail", to Wisconsin leaders to inform them of the goals and aspirations of Dr. King and his following. Burke and Banks explain that while the document had appeared in multiple publications, they feel that it has yet to reach the wide audience it deserves. They ask Dr. King's permission to reprint and distribute the document if he holds the copyright.

Preview of the "Dream" at Detroit March

Sunday, June 23, 1963
Michigan (MI), Detroit, MI, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Mississippi (MS), Georgia (GA)

Two months before the famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington, King used many of the same words, rhetorical techniques, and themes. King expresses gratitude and inspiration and warns against hatred and separatism at what he thinks is the largest US demonstration to date, a march in Detroit June 23, 1963. The legacy of slavery and segregation induced a false sense of inferiority in Negroes.

Telegram from Thomas Penna to MLK

Monday, November 6, 1967
New York (NY), Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C., VIETNAM, California (CA), Los Angeles, CA

Thomas A. Penna, the president of the Interracial Council of Buffalo, lists his concerns related to a poverty bill that will be debated the next day. Penna points out that the bill will harm impoverished Negroes, who are already being denied their right to vote. Penna urges Dr. King to address these issues during his upcoming speech in Buffalo, New York.

Letter from James Hamilton and Frank Pohlhaus

Friday, March 31, 1967
Georgia (GA)

James Hamilton and Francis Pohlhaus offer the Leadership Conference Executive Committee a list of recommendations on school desegregation. They also provide information on reasons why goals toward equal education have not been progressing as needed.

Letter from Joan Daves to Dr. King Regarding Schedule with Publisher

Monday, May 4, 1964
New York, NY

Joan Daves provides details for the Monday, June 8th schedule that Dr. King's publisher would like to set up. The day starts off with the Today Show and ends with a cocktail party.

Letter from Pauline Lee to MLK

Monday, January 9, 1967
California (CA)

Pauline Lee withdraws her support from Dr. King due to his failure to withdraw support for Adam Clayton Powell.

Postcard from Dekker Family

NETHERLANDS

The Dekker family of Holland sends its support to Dr. King.

Bayard Rustin Statement on Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney

Tuesday, August 4, 1964
Mississippi (MS)

Baynard Rustin notes the recent violence against three Negro male volunteers in the voter registration drive. Mr. Rustin describes the death of these men as acts that violate the "constitutional rights" of the Negro people. In the hopes of Mr. Rustin, this occurence will initiate a new force of the nonviolent movement.

New Attack on Highlander Folk School

Tuesday, July 16, 1963
Tennessee (TN), New Orleans, LA

The Southern Conference Educational Fund distributed this "Action Memo" to generate support for Highlander High School in a fight against the State of Tennessee.

Letter from Thomas Gilliam to MLK

Friday, October 13, 1967
Georgia (GA), Montgomery, AL

Thomas Gilliam writes this letter with hope that Dr. King will grant him an interview about the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Letter from Stacti L. Hourley to MLK

Washington, D.C.

In this document, the Academic Vice President of Howard University requests an essay from Dr. King, on the occasion of his Gandhi Memorial Address. The writer further requests an autographed picture.

David T. Doherty Letter of Request to Dr. King

Friday, February 10, 1967
California (CA)

Mr. Deherty, a PH.D candidate at Stanford University, asks Dr. King if he will answer a few questions regarding the influence of Henry David Thoreau on his philosophy of non-violence.

Religion (Definition)

Dr. King references McTaggart's perception of religion as being an emotional resting between ourselves and the universe.

Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dr. King with Daughter Bernice (Bonnie). Atlanta, 1967

Atlanta, GA

This photo comes from the Benedict J. Fernandez "Countdown to Eternity" portfolio.
(Copyright: Benedict J. Fernandez)

Letter from Matthew T. Doherty to MLK

Tuesday, July 26, 1966
Atlanta, GA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, New York (NY)

Matthew Doherty responds to an "eloquent and moving" appeal from Dr. King in the July 26th issue of The New York Times. Doherty discusses the recent surge in "black power" and its role in the ongoing struggle for equal rights. The writer also mentions his "small" contribution to aid Dr. King's efforts to "make this a better world for all of us."

Letter from MLK to Lester Kirkcaldy

Tuesday, February 11, 1964
JAMAICA

Dr. King responds to Lester Kirkcaldy's letter inquiring about Dr. King's availability to speak at the National Conference of Citizens Associations in Jamaica. Dr. King regretfully declines the invitation due to his previous arrangements to be in Africa and Europe during that time.

Letter from Mose Pleasure, Jr. to MLK

Saturday, January 27, 1968
Memphis, TN, Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Pleasure writes Dr. King to inform him of his decision not to accept employment with SCLC. He refers to an earlier visit with Dr. King and friends in Atlanta, and comments that the group's enthusiasm bodes well for the upcoming Poor People's March on Washington.

Letter from Mrs. R. K. Matthews to Mrs. King

Tuesday, April 9, 1968

This letter is from a middle class housewife who expressed her despair and frustration to Mrs. King in learning of Dr. King's assassination.

Letter from Missouri Prisoner Melvin Shepard to MLK

Missouri (MO)

Melvin Shepard, a prisoner in the Missouri State Penitentiary, requests that Dr. King respond to his earlier letters. Shepard explains that Dr. King can help by sending "some young lawyers."

MLK on Student Sit-Ins

Friday, April 15, 1960
North Carolina (NC)

Dr. King applauds the students participating in sit-in demonstrations and states that the leaders must develop a strategy for victory. He suggests topics for discussion including: creating an organization, a nationwide selective buying campaign, training for jail not bail, further exploration of nonviolence, and taking the freedom struggle into every community without exception. These suggestions led to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Note Card on Revelation

On this notecard, Dr. King outlines the meaning of revelations. This is an example of one of the many notecards Dr. King kept in a cardboard filing box for reference to quotations, ideas, books and other publications, and bible verses.

Letter from Stewart Udall to MLK

Washington, D.C.

Secretary Udall grants permission to the SCLC to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation at the Lincoln Memorial.